In less than a month, more than 20 startups and 20 individual participants will attempt to prove their worth at the B-Hive Fintech Hackathon. The stakes are high: the winning startups will receive funding for the Proof of Concept of their idea; the winning individuals will receive a cash price of €5000.
However, these prizes aren’t the main reason why both startups and individuals are applying to compete at this hackathon. More importantly, they hope to impress the judges and get connected with the major European Fintech players.
Read more to discover who will be there and what they’re hoping to achieve.
So far, 19 startups are planning on taking part in the hackathon. A great deal of them are traveling abroad to do so, just like Päivi Kangasmäki, Founder of BackedByCFO. Päivi and her team are joining from Finland, trusting that the hackathon will help them launch their services in the Belgian fintech market. “By the end of Day 2, we want to have the opportunity to start developing a project with one of the partner companies. But throughout the entire hackathon we want to impress everyone present. It’s an occasion to show off our already existing solutions, too.”
Showing off the team’s skills and expertise is also one of the main reasons why Marco Gouw, Director of Sales at Signicat, is participating. “During this hackathon, we want to show what we can offer the Belgian market regarding e-Identity and e-Signing.” In addition, he sees another good-business-sense reason to join the hackathon. “We like to be involved as early on as possible when developing a new solution or use case for a client. This hackathon is ideal for that, because we’ll get a firsthand insider’s view of the problems businesses face.”
For Ken Bastiaensen, Founder of Boltzmann, the focus on early-phase product development at the hackathon is important for an entirely different reason. “My co-founder, Tim Verdonck, is Professor of Statistics at the KULeuven. He’s developed a number of innovative Machine Learning methodologies. We want to discover how well these methodologies can be applied in today’s business context.” Ken is feeling the competition jitters, too. “We work with a highly competent team (all PhD level) of data scientists and cross-disciplinary experts. B-Hive’s hackathon is the occasion to demonstrate our know-how. Our goal by the end of Day 2? Win. Duh.”
For our individual challenge, 20 participants have already signed up to attend the hackathon. They will focus less on directly applicable business solutions and more on the broad theme of Mobile Payments. How can we make mobile payments more widespread in Belgium? How can we use them to bank the unbanked, such as refugees, the homeless and children?
This last question, in particular, is what inspired T Notch, Development Engineer and father of a seven-year-old. “My son and I regularly disagree on what he can and can’t buy. I have an idea for a mobile payment solution that would facilitate these type of parent-child discussions. I’ve actively been looking for an occasion like this hackathon. I’m very excited to see how my idea can become a reality!” As an engineer himself, T Notch sees this hackathon also as a good occasion to brush up his technological knowledge. “I’m curious to learn more about how blockchain, AI and deep learning can be applied in the fintech context.”
Certainly, tech savviness is a good reason to join the hackathon but Nigel Fontenai, the Business Analyst at BNP Paribas Fortis, is hoping to put his creativity to test. “I’ve never been to a hackathon before. How new ideas are born and launched is relevant to my job. I’m certainly looking forward to learning more about the methodology overall. And of course, I’m looking forward to getting creative with the topic of mobile payments!”
All participants will get to pitch for and meet the judges who are relevant for their sector. The judges are heavy-weight representatives of major European fintech and insurance players. They will be the ones to decide who wins funding for their Proof of Concept and €5000 in cash. “We’re serious and ambitious about transforming the industry. We need external help, technical capabilities and out-of-the-box thinking. That’s why we need you at the hackathon.”
Jeroen Ghysel - Head of Retail, Transformation & IT and member of the Management Board & Board of Directors at AXA Bank Belgium
Dirk Beeckman - Chief Transformation Officer and Member of the Executive Committee at BNP Paribas Fortis
Geert Morris - Head of Anti-Fraud and External Networks Ethias
Marina Vanderstippelen - Head of Core Banking at BNP Paribas Fortis
Tom Hanssen - Program Manager Open Banking & Blockchain Projects at BNP Paribas Fortis
Olivier Peeters - Head of Marketing & Innovation & Corporate Banking at BNP Paribas Fortis
Ivan Carette - Chief Procurement Officer at BNP Paribas Fortis
Bart Ballon - Director Bank for Entrepreneurs at BNP Paribas Fortis
Wilfried Remans - Director CSR & Public Affairs at BNP Paribas Fortis
David Dechamps - Senior Vice President, Digital Partnerships for Europe at Mastercard
Niek De Taeye - COO at B-Hive
Experts and Partners
The B-Hive Fintech Hackathon is an occasion to work out solutions to real business challenges. To make sure participants get good insights in what these challenges are, experts of all partner organizations will be present at the hackathon to help you along the way.
BNP Paribas Fortis: Ivan Carette, Eddy Bex, Chedy Riahi, Paul Lippevelt, Audrey Vedovelli, Dany Vandevoorde
Altares: Adriaan Kom, Barbara Thomas
Mastercard: Mathieu Collin, Lee Osborne, Veronika Colucci, Henri Dewaerheijd
Ethias: Valerien Gilet, Christian Haid
AXA: Dieter Vannuffel, Pieter Notelaers
Allianz: To be announced
Koning Boudewijnstichting: Saïda Sakali
Want to join too?
You still can. Applications are open until September 14. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!